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The Upside of Eclipses

Eclipses are coming! Eclipses are coming! Time to hide under the bed, batten down the hatches, buy duct tape to seal off the doors and windows?

In a word, no. But we astrologers can sound a little like tabloid journalists as we breathlessly – urgently – proclaim the drama of an impending eclipse. Don’t eclipses (like all difficult transits) have a potential upside?

In a word, yes. To use a metaphor in keeping with the warming pre-summer temperatures, imagine you are a desk fan. You are designed to oscillate, to turn first way and then another around a central point of equilibrium –  flirting with the outer reaches of your orb but always returning safely to center.

Now imagine a mischievous adolescent comes along and decides to find out what will happen if it grabs hold of you to see if it can stop your motion. Friction! Resistance! Depending on how strong you are and how sharp and well-concealed are your blades, the kid might get hurt. But if he manages to hold on and to keep you from your natural oscillating motion… very likely, your motor will burn out.

We living creatures and the societies we build together are designed for oscillation, you see. We’re designed for the specific purpose of moving this way and that, to spread our energy far and wide, and to test boundaries. Eclipses, as moments of developmental crisis when something inside you needs to change, are boundary-testing times. They are times when you have oscillated to the farthest reaches of your own center, rather like a child in a shopping mall who has strayed just a little farther from Mom than he ever has before and is not quite sure he’ll make it back to her.  But if he never tests those boundaries, how will he gain confidence?  Without a willingness to test your boundaries, how will you ever know what you’re capable of becoming?

The single most positive message of eclipses, I think, is this: trust change. Most of us don’t welcome it, definitely don’t like it, and try to avoid it at all costs. But something in you is pushing you to embrace upheaval, to honor new insights (however threatening they may be), and to expand your range of motion. And if you try to hold yourself in place and stop the movement of your life, you miss an opportunity for a real breakthrough – and risk burn-out.

Eclipses mark moments of real change. Surrender to the process, and embrace the you that is waiting to be born.

9 comments to " The Upside of Eclipses "

  • Nancy Becker

    Thanks for another bit of spot-on insight, April. I’m eagerly anticipating this eclipse. Paying closer attention to it than usual. Maybe this is partly because my 12th house is active during this one. Internal focus and reflection is kindof my usual “state”, but it seems accentuated now. “Boundary testing times” and “trust change” are two phrases from your article that will get taped to my bathroom mirror now. These two little jewels are like solid stepping stones, secure spots to plant a foot while traveling through the mists. Dramatic? Well, I’m a Leo.
    Thanks, April.

  • Thanks for this reminder… The next eclipse is almost exactly opposite my Venus. Should be interesting…

  • Thanks, Nancy and Hitch – This one’s targeting my Venus, too. Along with Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto. I’m not enjoying it so far, which inspired me to write something about the potential upside of eclipses. I feel a little better now. 🙂

  • This whole eclipse pattern has been peppering my node for a while now. Change? We haz it.

    Love that you and I are in sync, too… change and boundaries and developmental crisis, indeed. Thanks for the brain food.

  • Louise

    mmm…this eclipse is exactly on the cusp of my seventh so exactly opposite my ascendant..same degree…my venus is 7 degrees in Libra..oh a square:)
    and it is also square my boyfriend’s 1st and 7th ,he has a 2 degrees aries ascendant…his pluto is at 4 libra..and to boot ..this eclipse is close in between his 0 degree in cap mc,and 9 degree cap moon…woohoo..tmi for me….i don’t even want to guess what it implies..

  • April, I absolutely love the oscillating fan metaphor! I have one in my office, and it’ll remind me that it’s gently blowing the winds of change–and to trust it’s good, even though my papers are constantly flying around. The Lunar Eclipse is 4 degrees short of a Lunar Return for me, falling at the cusp of the 8/9th Houses. With Pluto there, too, no surprise I just started on the Summer Solstice some deep inner work around root mother issues. While I’ve been working this turf for years, I feel like I’m at the last stage where I’m pulling up the weed and getting the roots this time. (Root of my roots issues.) Even though I have gone into the process with surprising trust, just reading this post gave me some extra cheerleading that I could really use. This kind of work feels more like a tornado than an oscillating fan at times and ruffles a lot more than papers! So, moral support much appreciated. Thank you!

  • Ana

    I read all your articles about Hi, April! The solar eclipse of July 11, is conjunction with my Venus in cusp of my 5th house (but my venus is unaspected to me just a large orb to a trine with Jup and Nep), what do you think I can expect of this? I search for past and the same eclipse in 91 was the start of a new relationship to me…

    • Well Ana, I would say – all things being equal – that you’re due for a change in relationship status. How’s it going now, a couple weeks after the eclipse?

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